13 August 2009

My visit with a stranger











Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with this 87 year old man by the name of Steele. He happened to be dropped off at my office by accident {really long story, which I’ll get to in a bit}. He was a gentle & very kind man. He didn’t know his last name or why he was there, or even where he lived. As we talked I learned that he had graduated from the University of Rochester in 1945 with a degree in Technological Engineering {how amazing would that have been in the year 1945?!} Steele was married in 1947 to his wife Julia and together they had 2 boys; Bruce and Ernest. The moved to California in 1950 but his wife didn’t like it so they moved back east. He continued working in California and sent her and the boys money home, only to continue living by himself.


At 9:15am yesterday I met a man who changed my outlook on life, who brought me a little more joy, and who helped me understand a little more about people who surround me on a day to day basis. As we were talking and as I was trying to get a little bit of information out of him without him knowing that I knew he didn’t remember much, I was on the phone with the company who dropped him off. Because they didn’t have a last name nor did they have an 'ID’ number they wouldn’t do anything about it. I called the Sherriff's office because I felt bad for this man, I didn’t want him to waste away his day by sitting in my office staring at the brown walls like I do everyday. They told me to check his pockets for ID and figure it out myself. At this point I started to tear up, how come people always treat the elderly like they are in the way?

While we waited and while I tried to figure out what to do next we talked about books, and the books that he currently had just read. We talked about sports and how he played soccer, football, and baseball at the University of Rochester. He talked about the wars he lived during. He talked about the man on the moon. But one thing he would always talk about was his wife and his boys and what a great joy they were to raise and how he wished he could see them and how he missed them. Come to find out his boys and wife passed away many years ago, and he is the only one here that is part of his family and how lonely he gets at times.

He told me an address to where he lived and I googled it and it ended up being a Senior Living home right down the road. I gave them a call and spoke to this sweet lady who worked there who gave me Steele’s last name and told me that he hadn’t lived there for over a year, but that he was a great man and she missed him. Once again I started to tear up at the thought that Steele was loved and people cared for him and he didn’t realize it. Steele heard me say his last name and his eyes brightened and he looked at me and said joyfully, “That’s me!”. We continued talking and he came up with another address which I googled again and it was where he lived an they were sending someone to come get him.

After our 3 hour conversation I had made a little special bond with this stranger named Steele. What he said touched me, “I’m alone, no one cares about me they just keep shuffling me around.” We’re not alone there is always someone who loves us; our Saviour and our God. But most importantly how thankful I am that I have a loving husband who would do anything for me, parents who love and support me, siblings who look up to me that help me stay on track, friends to lean on and give my shoulder to. How blessed I am! Steele, you are loved and you touch those who you see everyday. I will come to visit you, as you have touched me and deserve to know that people do care about you.

Take a little extra time out of your day today to say hi to  the elderly, give a helping hand when you can, and remember there are Steele’s everywhere you turn who need a smile, a wave, or just a simple hello and a meaningful, “how are you today?” Take the time to listen take the time to care.


 Grandma Laugh

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    ♥ Blessings are every where in our lives every day there are little things that mean a lot and sometimes we don't even notice them until we look back on the day. Memories and stories, arguments and tears - all bring blessings into our lives in one way or another. I do this blog so I can remember those moments and find the blessings that were once hidden in a normal sometime meaningless gesture ♥

    if we pay close attention we will come to realize that no day is the same as another as every morning brings with it a hidden blessing - a sweet morsel to cherish